ALBANY — As part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today encouraged volunteers across to state to participate in their County Animal Response Teams (CARTS). The Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Empire State Animal Response Team (ESART) supports local CARTS and helps provide critical training to save pets and other animals during emergencies. Severe weather and flooding are primary reasons CARTs are activated throughout the country.
Commissioner Ball said, “Animals are an important part of our families, and we rely on our community volunteers and CARTs, to ensure they are cared for in the event of an emergency. I encourage our emergency response coordinators in counties that don’t already have a CART to look into establishing one to serve their area. Joining an existing CART is also a great way to give back to the community and ensure we are prepared to protect our pets and livestock when disaster strikes.”
The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets holds an annual Animal Emergency Response Training focused on animal rescue, sheltering and transportation. This year, the State, in partnership with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA) and Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, will host its annual Disaster Response Bootcamp training in Albany on June 22 and 23, 2019.
The training will focus on Animal Handling in the emergency situations. The course will highlight information on flood water decontamination and fire response and builds on previous trainings, such as the Slack Water Rescue training held in 2017 and the Emergency Sheltering courses held in 2018.
Details about the training and how to participate are available at https://alert.ny.gov/empire-state-animal-response-team, the State’s new, comprehensive online resource for animal emergency response. The new website is designed to provide CARTS and pet owners with valuable information on disaster preparedness and assistance.
Dr. Dick Green, ASPCA Senior Director for Disaster Response, said, “Strengthening disaster response capabilities for animals is an essential and lifesaving aspect of overall emergency preparedness. We have seen time and time again that animals are loved and valued members of families, and when we ensure the protection of pets, we are helping to keep people safe as well. The ASPCA is proud of our collaborative partnership with the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets and grateful for their level of commitment to supporting CARTS and protecting animals impacted by emergency situations.”
Mohawk Hudson Humane Society CEO and President Todd Cramer said, “When disaster strikes, there is no time to train those who want to help. It is important to prepare early and often. The Humane Society is pleased to be a part of such an important event so County Animal Response Teams can best serve people and their pets when the need arises.”
Currently there are 30 CARTS across the State. The list of counties participating is available here.
The Empire State Animal Response Team (ESART) Program supports the prevention of, preparedness for, response to, and recovery from emergencies affecting animals in New York State. ESART was created through a private-public partnership to serve as a unifying network of organizations, businesses, government agencies, and individuals dedicated to animal safety and emergency response. The program is overseen by the Department of Agriculture and Markets.
Because disaster response begins and ends at the local level, ESART promotes the creation of County Animal Response Teams (CARTs). ESART provides support to CARTs through specialized training opportunities, planning guidance, and resource coordination, and by providing information concerning regulatory actions and best practices that may be useful to county teams. CARTs are the actual responding units that are activated and deployed by county emergency management during disasters.
The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team frequently responds to natural disasters around the country and provides local communities with necessary funding, training and expertise to effectively assist animals during disaster and cruelty situations. The Disaster Response Bootcamp program was developed by the ASPCA and Dr. Green in 2014. It has been held over a dozen times at various locations throughout the country.
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets
The Department, through its various divisions and programs, promotes New York agriculture and its high-quality and diverse products, fosters agricultural environmental stewardship, and safeguards the State’s food supply, land and livestock to ensure the viability and growth of New York’s agriculture industries. The Department’s Land and Water Division works to protect New York’s land and water resources through farmland protection, farmland conservation, and proactive environmental stewardship.
The Department operates the Great New York State Fair, and administers the Taste NY initiative, the FreshConnect and New York State Grown and Certified programs. Follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
–NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets
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